Then it seemed over. Anderson and Savage, who had been kept outside the main gate for an hour, came in and told how helicopters had taken terrorists and hostages to an airport. The late news said the Israelis had been rescued. We went to bed, shaken by the prolonged anxiety but relieved.
We awoke to the final horror. The first newspapers said, "Sixteen Dead."
I walked to the memorial service. Russian soccer players were practicing on a field beside the stadium. Concession stands were open, smelling of sauerkraut. The program was long-winded in four languages. The crowd applauded when Brundage said the Games would go on.
"The Games should go on," said Tom Dooley, "and they will. But for the wrong reasons. The Germans don't want any hitches in their organization. There are the financial considerations. Those people who applauded just want to see who will win the 5,000 and the hell with the rest."
"What are the right reasons?" I asked.
"Just one. To stay together. Who wins or loses now is ridiculously unimportant, considered against these men's deaths. But we have to stay together."
"Can we go to future Olympics, knowing this might happen again?"
He was quiet for a moment. "I don't know. Maybe Olympians will have to be like the early Christians now. We'll have to conduct our events in catacombs, in quiet forests."